Microsoft's Gates: British Foreign Aid Cuts Could Cost African Lives
April 20, 2017
Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates is urging British leaders not
to back down from their commitment to foreign aid, saying it could cost
lives in Africa.
Gates on Wednesday was in London, where campaigning has started for
early elections called by Prime Minister Teresa May.
May has so far declined to say whether she will heed calls by fellow
Conservatives to slash British foreign aid as part of her party
Gates told the Guardian newspaper Wednesday that a British refusal to
commit itself to targeted spending on foreign aid could hurt efforts to
wipe out malaria in Africa.
big aid givers now are the U.S., Britain and Germany ... and if those
three back off, a lot of ambitious things going on with malaria,
agriculture and reproductive health simply would not get done," he said.
Gates said British funding has made an "absolute phenomenal difference"
in eradicating tropical diseases that affect more than 1 billion people.
Many conservatives want the government to spend more money at home to
combat domestic crises. Some also contend that foreign aid money is
Gates said as a business executive who spends $5 billion a year helping
developing nations, he hates wasting money. But he told an audience of
British politicians and diplomats that no country can "build a wall to
hold back the next global epidemic," and that foreign aid combats
socioeconomic problems "at the source."
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